First Twenty-20 International

New Zealand v Sri Lanka, 2006-07

Don Cameron

At Westpac Stadium, Wellington, December 22, 2006 (day/night). Sri Lanka won by 18 runs (D/L method). Toss: New Zealand. Twenty20 international debuts: M. R. Gillespie, P. D. McGlashan, R. L. Taylor; M. S. Atapattu, M. Muralitharan, L. P. C. Silva, W. P. U. J. C. Vaas.

New Zealand experimented, with half an eye on the World Cup, and began well, as Fleming and McCullum - who struck four sixes after being relieved of the gloves and promoted to open - put on 80. But after they were separated, the experienced spinners Muralitharan and Jayasuriya kept the runs down and nipped out regular wickets. Then, when Sri Lanka - who fielded most of the side which had won the Second Test at the nearby Basin Reserve - batted in light rain, Jayasuriya excelled with the bat as well, thrashing ten fours and a six as he zoomed to 51 from just 23 balls. His big hitting paid off: the rain intensified in the sixth over, eventually causing play to be abandoned, to the disappointment of a crowd of around 8,000, and Sri Lanka were comfortably ahead of their Duckworth/Lewis target.

Man of the Match: S. T. Jayasuriya.

© John Wisden & Co.